Lin-Ping Wu et al developed a simplified technique using brain-specific phage-derived peptide to effectively transport medication into the brain. The method allows for minimally invasive combination delivery through an intravenous injection of various drugs, peptides and nucleic acid therapeutics to the brain. For the study, the researchers utilised a peptide component from a virus that targets the brain. The brain-specific phage-derived peptide, which is also called Nano Ligand Carriers, (NLCs), was synthesised and modified to form into a small, hairy particle. NLCs target cerebral endothelial cells through the transferrin receptor and the receptor for advanced glycation-end products. Scientists found that when the developed particle was injected into a mouse model, the system targeted the brain, crossing the blood-brain barrier, reaching neurons and microglia cells in the brain. The scientists showed the procedure could effectively downregulate β-secretase1 enzyme (BACE1) activity through intravenous delivery of NLC-β-secretase 1 siRNA complexes without toxicity and inflammation. Findings show NLCs act as safe multifunctional nanocarriers, which could pave the way towards improved treatments for neurological and neurodegenerative diseases.
Source: Nature Communications volume 10, Article number: 4635 (2019) 11 October 2019 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12554-2